It's official. Kitty litter caused a nuclear explosion.
Savannah River National Laboratory released a report last week confirming that the February 2014 incident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico was the result of an employee using the wrong type of cat litter to absorb liquid nuclear waste.
Drum 68660, brought to WIPP from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), ruptured while housed underground. The report deemed that the Swheat Scoop brand litter used by LANL was chemically incompatible with the contents of the drum. The organic ingredients reacted with the waste and created gases that increased the pressure of the drum. The materials self-heated and combusted.
The breach contaminated 21 workers with low-level doses of radiation and caused a temporary shutdown of WIPP.